Subtraction and Simplicity


We have been living our continual Freejourner ways in a different context up here in the mountains of Breckenridge. We wake up in the middle of the woods in a home that pierces with big views and sun rays.

We are eagerly waiting for snow and getting on the slopes as a family snowboarding. The kids are looking to compete at a high level in comps and at nationals.

Gabe and Isaac are in Summit High School and Summit Middle School, respectively. They are attacking their coursework with rigor. Gabe finished a packed Fall season with the high school soccer team and is excelling in his coursework. Isaac has gotten some awards and recognitions, and he’s loving the middle school experience.

Jadyn has our full attention continually homeschooling and building that foundation of thinking critically, reading great literature and enjoying each other’s company.

Sonya and I have done a lot of trail running and hiking. It’s been wonderful to enjoy the amazing views and trails out here in the Rockies.

We get asked a lot about our lifestyle, so I thought I would post some thoughts about how we do life. As we have been settling into our home life here on the road, we are running around with kids’ activities continually. We squeeze in fun and adventure playing tennis and getting outdoors continually. We do business from everywhere working with clients and growing entrepreneurial ventures.

One of the foundational pieces to our Freejourner lifestyle can be summed up in Leo Babauta’s article on subtraction. (Also see Derek Sivers’ article, Subtract)

We are always looking to subtract. Simplifying life allows us to remain free and be ready for going out to do fun things. It allows us to take off on road trips, say, “Yes,” to outings with friends or simply do nothing if wanted.

We subtract in so many areas continually:

  • Clothes we don’t need
  • Commitments that don’t matter
  • Equipment that we don’t use
  • Drama – we don’t like it

Our family loves to play. We snowboard, play tennis, backpack, trail run, play ultimate frisbee, run track and play soccer. But we go big on a few things and keep our equipment ready for those things. We buy the best, and we keep it lean.

We are always purging our stuff. Less stuff is less to manage.

We like keeping things real. We have real conversations, talk straight and sidestep anything smelling of drama that sucks energy.

We try to say, “yes,” as much as we can. That’s one of our goals. I always want to say, “Yes.”

To be able to be free and experience life seeing what will happen next means keeping it simple. And that means having that habit of subtraction. Those little things can add up to distraction, inertia and scarcity. We’re having too much fun living abundantly by keeping it simple.

How can you increase your freedom through subtraction?


9 Comments Add yours

  1. I love this…I will follow the substractions concept. Thank you for the continued inspiration

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, so cool. Thanks so much for reading, Carole! Keep it simple.


  2. ccgrow says:

    I would love for our google site to have an inspiration tab with your articles and blogs? Do you think it would be value to my team?

    Carole Ly Sing Lao

    CC Grow

    Culture Garden Market

    O: (303) 955-2823

    M: (954) 235-3777 [image: CCGicon.png]


    1. That would be awesome!


  3. Amy says:

    I love your approach – you need space in your life to have room to accept new opportunities. I can see how actively practicing subtraction is a great path to an intentional life. Going to have to make this part of my life too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amy says:

    I love your life of simplicity and I am always trying to achieve your level of simplicity. Thank for the subtraction lesson!!


    1. It does take effort for sure. It’s continual vigilance. If you don’t attend to what comes in or accumulates both materially and emotionally, then inertia takes over like weeds for sure. Thanks for the comments, Amy. How simple are things for you?


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